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Friday, April 4, 2014

On 4:17 PM by Rachel Preston Prinz in
Premise of the Book:
An intuitive sense of Form is available to everyone.
Light and Shadow help to determine this form - and a visual pattern emerges.
When the building is seen as a composition, it can be also informed by proportion.
The understanding of form may be conscious or unconscious.
Shifting the paradigm of "building" can give direct access to the universal principals of form.

Notes from the Reading:
Charm, or pleasure in the thing itself, was lost approximately in the 1830s. Repetition and reproducability became the mode of the day. Before that time, design was about Pattern, as you can see in the Pattern books of previous years. After that, function won the battle over form, and 'use' became king. Harmony became ruled by the grid, and the flowing villages that were once the bastion of our independence (and collaboration) became outmoded, much to the dismay of the people. This was the beginning of the change in our consciousness that was perfected, ultimately... in the automobile.

Image of the Golden Section from the book

What was lost: Our senses!
...of  LINE - connecting the roof to the windows to the doors, and so on...
...of SCALE - spaces no longer respond in scale to the women and men whom use them.
... of PROPORTION - its impossible to appreciate something that is all weirdness. Rather, weirdness can be celebrated only when it is unusual, when it is juxtaposed to that which is orderly.
... of LIGHT and DARK - to grasp the beauty of the light, one must know the dark. A suggested reading for this would be the Parable of the Cave as told by Plato in the Republic.
... of IMPERFECTION - too much symmetry makes tension, play, and delight impossible. Without these things, we are but robots in the factory.

My favorite quote from the book:
"A designer is a master of playing; master, most of all, of listening. There can be a moment of fear just as you let go, when you first become afraid of the modern silence. The silence is daunting, if you don't try to fill it up. But such a moment passes. The silence is unreal. It is the voices - of shadow and light and pattern - that are real."

Food for thought:
What are you going to create today? Will it be full of life - of light, of dark, and pattern... will it be infused with  your own brand of magical charm?